the mungk

It’s hard to describe the feeling of peace when you let a piece of writing that’s dwelled inside you for so long go, especially when it’s one that took you to a very dark place.

I have ideas.

I have lots of ideas.

As it stands, I’ve over three dozen ideas for novels written down, in part, and at least a dozen ideas for comic books. Hundreds of short stories. Poetry just tends to happen.

But The Mungk represents a starting point for me. While someday, I hope to write novels about the Great Way, blending reality and all things good, today, here, now, The Mungk focuses on everything and anything awful in life.

Feelings of hopelessness, of loss. Of trauma and drain, the kind that wears you down over the course of a life and leaves you withered and bitter fruit.

And I’m glad to see it go. I suspect there will be some residuals, as I try to sell the thing to a publisher or an agent, but it’s a novella. Not particularly saleable in the best of times, no matter how good.

In any case, it’s done. No more editing. No more putzing about with it. It’s time to send it out into the world to spawn its feckless devils. If I can’t get any takers in a year, I’ll publish it myself. From this point on, everything I write gets out there in some way. The universe receives it, whether it’s wanted or not.

Peace, Mungk.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 1449 words, novella: The Mungk

living in the shadows

I feel like that’s where I am these days. No one sees me. No one knows I’m here.

And it’s not cool, like I’m Jason Bourne or someone like that.

It’s infuriating not to be seen by anyone.

And I say that as a man of privilege – a white, straight guy. I can only imagine how much worse that is the second you add a socially discriminated-against trait to the mix.

Life is cruel to us all, without notions of equality.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 36 words, novella: The Mungk

drain you

It is exhausting being so unhappy. I’m trying to choose not to be, but then I remember what I wanted out of life, or that my baby boy is no longer sitting in my lap, or my baby girl isn’t walking across my desk during online meetings and I’m sad all over again.

It’s so draining. The lack of sleep doesn’t help. The constant drama.

Once upon a time, I wanted a wild life – rock star excess, drowning in a sea of creativity, good times and women.

Now, I’d be happy with a quiet life, filled with compassionate, intelligent people and a good book. And sex. A boy has to have some vices.

Anyway, big day. To work.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 9100 words, novella: The Mungk

helpless dancer

I suppose that’s the problem, isn’t it? You read something like Permanent Record, and it reminds you that your control over anything in this world is essentially non-existent.

That it’s all fucked up, and likely to burn and burn forever, and that’s okay. Because there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can catch some of the assholes, take a few down, but you’ll never stop the craven need for greed and power of men like the Bush family or the Trump crime syndicate. Pierre Poilevre and Stephen Harper. Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Netanyahu, Mugabe, Noriega, MBS, Musk… the list goes on and on.

You do your best not to give them an inch, and take back the inches they stole, but in the end, their interest is in power and greed, and ours is in happiness and enjoyment. Where you put your focus, grows.

So dance away, and let the motherfuckers watch.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 1549 words, novella: The Mungk

bad day

Less than two weeks after the loss of my beloved Magnus, we’re about to lose our beloved Cassie.

I don’t know if I can take this again so soon.

I’ve already lost the best one in the whole world once, and now I have to do it again.

I don’t know if I can. These last ten-plus months have been nothing but heartache and loss. I can’t take anymore.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 316 words, novella: The Mungk


That’s what I’ve been told I am. But my internal panic has reached epic proportions and honestly, a little help and hand-holding would be nice. I know it’s just early job jitters, but I find myself asking if I’ve made the right choice.

The pension is worthwhile, at least to do my best and give it until I’m doing the actual work before I make any major decisions. A pension is a hell of a difficult thing to walk away from, especially when I’m still young enough for it to mean something.

And it’s not like I’m underqualified or incapable of doing the work. I look at the people they’ve got working there that I know and I think, I’m at least as capable as these guys. I hope.

My mental sharpness has taken a serious dip from the stress and depression the last few years, and my physical health is on the decline.

One day at a time, I suppose.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 422 words, novella: The Mungk

saturday morning frustration

Oh. My. God.

Fuck you, universe. What the fuck are you doing to me? All I wanted was a reduction of stress and some time to myself, and you’re doubling down on driving me insane. What the hell is wrong with you? No sleep. No time. Not even a single moment’s rest.

Is there a solution? What the hell am I supposed to do? Move to the Great White North and live in a remote cabin on my own?

Honestly, starting to sound pretty good right about now.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 2275 words, novella: The Mungk

last… fucking… day

Complicated feelings. On one hand, absolute bliss, an heady gleefulness that makes me want to giggle uncontrollably. On the other, guilt, for leaving them in the lurch, for shirking off my responsibility to our customers, and nervousness, about what comes next.

As my wife reminded me though, I’ve no reason to feel bad about leaving. This company has not been kind to me, and over the past few years, having to fight the urge to swerve into oncoming traffic on the way to the office or walk out in disgust and put my family’s financial future at risk has been a daily fight.

And I’m tired of being stressed out, depressed, angry and suicidal. I needed them to fire those bigoted, petty, undeserved ego-driven pieces of shit back in March and they did, but I know it wasn’t their lies or laziness or petty grievances. It wasn’t their misogyny, racism or Trump-loving anti-vax nonsense. It wasn’t the constant abuse or threats of violence. The sole reason this company fired those assholes is because they tried to go over the boss’ head to the CEO. That bruised the boss’ ego and the other stuff just gave him a convenient excuse. Had they never done that, they’d still be here, and we’d all still be suffering while management looked the other way.

And in the wake of that, did they then get me the help that I needed? I was clear with them – I had no desire to be an IT person anymore. I hated IT, and I wanted to move into a more administrative position. They ignored that. I said in a temporary capacity, as a stopgap solution, for a few weeks or a month, I could keep things running until they found a proper network guy. They never bothered, and instead combined five jobs into one and got me the minimal amount of help possible (someone who could never do what I do), and they took a month and a half to do even that, after initially questioning whether they needed to at all. Meanwhile, I was on the clock 24/7, and killing myself.

When this opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance. It was a better job all the way around, even if I liked this one. Why wouldn’t I take it?

Now that I’m leaving, they’ve spent the last ten days trying to make me work around the clock again, FOR FREE, ignoring my attempts to create actual documentation, which they will need, on how to do all of the things the new people will need to know. Instead, they want me to fix monitors or have pointless meetings or draw network maps. Oh, did I get a network map when this was dumped in my lap? Of course not. And they posted my job at twenty grand more than they were willing to offer me to boot.

And why do they not care about documentation? They’ve repeatedly said over the last week that they’ll just call me if they need anything. I keep telling them that’s not going to happen, but apparently, in their minds, they think they can keep me working for them, for free, even though I quit and have moved on to a different job.

So why do I feel guilty about leaving? I really shouldn’t. This job has been nothing but abusive almost from the start, and only got worse over the years. When they finally fired those idiots (again, over the bruised ego of the boss, and not because we begged for months and provided more reason to fire with cause than you could shake a stick at. Seriously, I tell other people the crap these guys pulled and they’re flabbergasted that they weren’t fired, or even jailed, years ago), I decided to buckle down, make the attempt and see how serious these guys were about building anew with me. Instead, they completely hung me out to dry. And now, they want me to continue to be at their beck and call, for nothing?

I wouldn’t even do it if they paid me, and believe me, I thought long and hard about asking for a consulting fee to do that. But this is the kind of company that would look at me and say, “Why pay him? He hasn’t got enough money to take us on in court.” I’m fully convinced they’d agree to it and stiff me.

I’m trying to go out the right way. Not to burn bridges, and to go out with graciousness. But these people have never understood boundaries, they’ve never supported their people and they just don’t get it.

Maybe instead of telling people that they shouldn’t burn bridges with the companies they’re leaving, the companies they’re leaving should be trying not to burn bridges with the employees on their way out. This economy is fucked, that a company is so fucking entitled that they believe they still have any claim to you after you’re fucking gone.

So, instead, I say goodbye and good riddance. Don’t call me. You’re like a crazy ex that won’t go away and won’t leave me alone. We’re through. Don’t make me get a restraining order.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 1951 words, novella: The Mungk


Sure seems like I’m always jumping through them, and my legs are getting tired. Is anything easy?

That’s what I’m aiming for – easy.

Easy life, easy people in that life. Not saying no challenges ever, because challenges are engaging, which makes them feel easy (when not polluted by nonsense), but less conflict. Less unnecessary conflict.

Stress will kill me. Of that, I’m sure. Whatever the ultimate symptoms or official cause, be assured, depression and stress are the true culprits, and always will be.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 1118 words, novella: The Mungk